Strong technical performance earns Hardy second title

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Another bout, another belt for Gerritsen Beach native Heather “The Heat” Hardy.

Hardy won her second boxing title by topping veteran Crystal Hoy via a 100–90, 99–91, 95–95, majority decision for the World Boxing Council International junior featherweight championship on Oct. 15 during a Broadway Boxing show at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan.

The undefeated Hardy (11–0) and her manager Devon Cormack felt it was the best technical performance of her career.

“I think it is just an accumulation of the working and the practicing and the learning finally starting to come together,” Hardy said. “I’ve only been in the game four years. Boxing, it’s a science. It takes a really long time to put it all together.”

She’s been working on her defending and counter-punching, and she put everything she learned on display in last Wednesday’s bout, taking control of the fight early against her most experienced opponent to date.

Hoy (5–7) had 16 professional fights coming in, and fought for the International Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight title in 2012.

Cormack was concerned coming in about the adjustments they might need to make throughout the fight against a polished opponent, but Hardy only required a few small tweaks.

“Within the first minute of the first round I was completely settled in,” Hardy said. “I was completely comfortable. I found my groove. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in the ring competing.”

Hardy did a superb job evading the majority of the aggressive Hoy’s power punches. She did leave with a black eye from a big overhand right in the fourth round, but that was the hardest punch Hoy landed in the whole bout. Other than that, Hardy used Hoy’s aggressiveness against her.

“She was very resilient,” Cormack said. “[Hoy] was really coming forward with some hard and big shots, but Heather was evading almost everything.”

Hardy and Cormack were both left puzzled by judge Joseph Pasquale’s 95–95 scorecard — especially given the lopsided scores she got from the other judges.

No matter what the score, the win puts Hardy another step forward in her quest for a world title. She hopes to fight again in December, but her trainer wants her to take her time before battling for the world championship.

“People fail to understand she is just a pro two years — why would anyone be talking about fighting the number-one contender for a title?” Cormack said. “She needs to get her experience down and we are gradually doing that.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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